The truth is I don't really know what defines art. Many of the "creative" things I do involve taking or modifying other peoples ideas to suit my needs, skill level or materials. I draw badly, I'm somewhat better at modeling or sculpting, I consider myself good at small stuff like miniature painting, wire work on chain mail and wire jewelry, but I always wonder
"Are crafters as valid as artists?"
So while all these projects do manage to satisfy my need to create (something I find very restful and therapeutic) where does one's dabbling with crafting cross that line from mere maker/mechanic to an artist?
A few examples of my range
Honestly I don't know where this will take me but I will endeavor to fill this blog with examples of what I'm doing at any particular time along with my occasional inner arguments on the merit of my work as art. My fixation on a certain medium will change sporadically as I get bored or something new and shiny catches my eye. While I'm currently stuck on bead and wire projects I see myself turning towards fire and enamel, or even a sawdust kiln as the improving weather allows me to move my projects to the garage and back yard. That said alcohol inks also look like fun, as does metal clay, resins, silicon molds, bone carving, hammered copper, etching copper and many other forms I'd like to attempt should I beg, borrow or buy the needed materials.
Lastly I'm a 52 year old guy who no longer does satisfying work with his hands. These days I'm stuck at a desk and feel both the physical need to make things and the mental need for that zen feeling that busy hands/occupied mind gives me. Too often I find these crafting activities are considered the realm of women while men miss out because of it. (visit a bead store or hang out at Michael's for a Sunday afternoon)
Apparently a guy can be a gold smith because that's respectable but making baubles in the basement is somehow beneath manly attention. That's B.S. in my mind, the basic need to create is one of those things that separates us from other species, it is very human, a healthy outlet for stress and creativity and yet it's missing from most people's lives, especially we white collar slobs who essentially create nothing and have little sense of achievement or identity in our day to day grind.
Besides who doesn't like pretty things and the occasional scrap of praise? Not to mention the slew of cheap presents you can inundate your friends and family with for every single occasion, even though they really wanted an iPad ;)
Anyways this is my journey, at least until the house gets too full of finished projects and I get yelled at.